BY EMILY EAGLIN
A few weeks ago I was presented with the chance to speak about Feminism by MTVU. The segment of Take Note was entitled "5 Ways to Encourage Feminism on Campus". In filming my 'definition of feminism' I not only was able to happily vent to college campuses all across this nation, but I also was able to surprisingly vocalize an original, more personal, brand of feminism/womanism.
Aux Cord Feminism ™.
You can watch the MTVU video here.
This brand of feminism makes moves in addressing the uprising of this blatantly sexist, art-based, exclusion and is also applicable in non-musical arts (see here). This is not only an issue in music but it's a plague in the rap & hip hop community, in example how many women did we see in 2016's Freshman XXL Class? Mmhm. Men stay not wanting to acknowledge women artists/rappers for the fear of what? Being perceived as effeminate or emasculated?
Myths. All of them.
So where does this lack of taste, socialization, and all-around decency come from? In the past, women were at the top of Hip Hop (y'all have a short memory span). I'd argue that, artistry-wise especially, we still technically are. We could easily attribute this to modern day fragile masculinity, but I also think it's become just a norm and a habit. I find that at a lot of parties guys try to use the excuse of "I don't know any female rappers". If you want to join up with the league of aux cord feminists, be prepared to hear this excuse first. Since we can rely on these aux cord bros not doing their research it is upon us to do ours, be fully at the ready, and even introduce them to non-male identifying alternatives (they'll likely dig)! So, y'all better have your female/non-binary/non-gender conforming/non-male identifying artists at the READ·Y for that Spotify play queue.
(See soundcloud links below).
One night, a particular aux cord DJ had the audacity to only bump the dick jams at my own house, when I kindly asked him to play some non-male artists he, of course waited for me to leave, then told everyone I was "sexist" for it. Truly, I had to, and did, pull the plug & hack the bluetooth signal of a nearby speaker and blast him out (yes, this is something that you can do). I got the aux cord justice that I saw fit. And the issue isn't just that they won't play non-male artists, it's that they refuse to acknowledge the existence of anyone else in the game.
Sure, you might be seen as a radical feminist "kill joy" in the moment, but it's worth assessing who's joy you're killing. What you're asking for is nothing extreme and nothing radical. There are just so many everyday instances where an egalitarian approach is needed & spaces where women are intentionally left out, aux cords are one of these spaces (in my opinion). The industry might be rigged but let's not let it trickle all the way down to our house parties, birthday gatherings, wedding receptions, etc. We, the consumer, have a say in the matter and the power to stop it. Regardless of gender identity we need to all stand together and fight this. If you're personally heartbroken by this article (because all the musicians you like just happen to be male) ponder this: If you think women aren't worth being on your playlists, why should we think to show up to your parties at all?
The destruction of aux cord sexism requires us to not let fragile masculinity ruin a party. I get that it might not be comfortable for mosts, but what's worse is letting these wanna be MC's feel comfortable enough with even thinking to not include us. Call them out. Make requests.
And if you gotta, pull the plug.
"Do not let them get away with making the Aux Cord a Boys Club."
XXL 2016 Freshman Class